Mark Littmann

Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media, Hill Chair of Excellence in Science Writing, CCI Board of Visitors Professor

Phone: 865-974-8156
E-mail: littmann@utk.edu

Departmental Website


Mark Littmann's focus is science writing and writing about astronomy. He directs the Science Communication program, teaches three different science-writing courses, and serves as program chairman for the UT Science Forum. His books for nonscientists, including Totality: Eclipses of the Sun, Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System, The Heavens on Fire: The Great Leonid Meteor Storms, and Comet Halley: Once in a Lifetime,  have won national prizes. He can address the total eclipse of the sun coming on August 21, 2017, other astronomy subjects, and science writing as great literature. Prior to moving to academia, he spent eighteen years as the director of the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City. He wrote and produced thirty-five planetarium programs, some of which are still performed worldwide. He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and literature from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master's degree in creative writing from Hollins College, and a doctorate in English from Northwestern University.

Topics of expertise: Astronomy and the history of astronomy, writing about science for the general public, science writing as literature, history of science, teaching science, and science writing

Media coverage:

The sun is about to spill some of its secrets, maybe even reveal a few hidden truths of the cosmos. Associated Press, Seth Borenstein, Aug. 13 (appeared in 482 outlets including The Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Daily Mail Online, US News and World Report, and Yahoo! News)

Excitement for next week's total solar eclipse is building and so is demand for the special solar eclipse glasses needed to view the event. News Sentinel, Rachel Ohm, Aug. 15

The Great American Eclipse is almost here and for many of us this will be our first at possibly only opportunity to see one in person. WATE, Aug. 16; Oak Ridge Today, Aug. 16

While Monday's total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be a once-in-a-lifetime sky show for millions, there's a small group of people who have experienced it all before and they can't get enough of it. Associated Press, Seth Borenstein, Aug. 17 (appeared in 120 outlets including Philly.com, Yahoo! News, New York Daily News, ABC News, Daily Mail, Sacramento Bee)

The lore of early eclipses often told us more about the people spinning the yarns than it did about the sun or the moon. Associated Press, Seth Borenstein, Aug. 19 (ran in 113 outlets including Yahoo! News, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News, SF Gate, Charlotte Observer)

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